Married men have it made

Every now and then you hear someone say something like: “He’s been a bachelor so long, he’ll never get married.” When I hear this, I think of some poor sap missing out on the joys of marriage and family life. I really do. There are many things I now know about myself that I would never have known if I hadn’t been living with my family all these years.

For example, I know that, at 6 a.m. in a dead-quiet house on a weekday morning, I can be heard at the kitchen table, “chewing,” way upstairs in a second-floor bedroom. Who would have ever thought eating a bowl of cereal while reading the newspaper would be anything but a solitary activity? Only someone married with children would know that.

I’ve also been told I should close the door when I go to the bathroom. Yikes. Fortunately, thanks to the miracle of Metamucil, I don’t have that problem anymore.

Apparently I close doors “too hard.” You probably think you just grab a door by the handle and close it. Not if you’re living with a family, you don’t.

The “correct” way to do it is to grab the handle, move the door to just before the closed position, then slow way down, turn the handle, gently move the door into the closed position, and then let go of the door knob very carefully so that the spring-loaded latch gently engages into the hole in the door jamb.

Got all that? Now how would a bachelor ever know that? You single guys are missing out on quite a bit, I think.

I never, ever knew that I walk up and down stairs “heavy,” but I do know now. Forget that I weigh a little more than 200 pounds. When it comes to stairs, I have to mentally imagine myself as male dancer effortlessly flitting about the stage.

But Frank, you ask, what if you’re carrying a bunch of tools up the stairs to fix a leak under an upstairs sink? No matter — don’t be “heavy” on the stairs. I’d never have known this was even a thing if I weren’t married with kids. Lucky me!

I’ve known for a long time now that I “get out of bed wrong.” Here’s the thing: You have to get out of bed in such a way that you don’t move the covers or shake the mattress or make a squeak, so that anyone else in the bed doesn’t even know you are trying to get up.

You bachelors, I feel very bad for you, since this is a skill that requires practice and dexterity. I’m still working on this one.

Let’s say you discover a new musical artist, for example, the simply wonderful Tamaryn, a young lady from New Zealand, who’s song “I’m Gone” is a swirling, ethereal performance filled with color and moods such that you are transformed into a trance-like state whenever it comes on.

If you were a bachelor or living alone, you might be tempted to turn up the old Victrola and blast that thing until you bask in all it’s avant-garde glory. But do you even consider that loud music can damage your ears?

When you live with a family like I do, loud music is not allowed under any circumstances. My ears are protected whether I want them to be or not. Safety first!

I’ve been told by family members that I don’t “wear my pants straight.” I can honestly tell you, if it weren’t for my loving and caring family members telling me this on more than one occasion, I would not even have known that there was a straightness involved in pants-wearing, even though I’ve been wearing pants my whole life.

Yes, the pants and belt need to be straight — belt centered under the belly button, seam in the rear going straight vertically down. Now, if I see a guy with “crooked” pants, I just assume he must be a bachelor. Poor sap!

Living with a family is healthy as well. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen something in the freezer like a gourmet ice-cream pop. Then I open the box and it’s empty.

Just think about that for a minute. Someone took the last ice-cream pop and left the empty box in there. Turns out that’s a good way to cut down on calories, so there you go. Think family, think health.

One day, I had finished painting something, but I knew I’d need to do a second coat, so I went for the aluminum foil so I could wrap the wet brush for the night rather than clean it. The aluminum foil has been in the same spot in my house forever, but it wasn’t that day.

Turns out the aluminum foil had been moved to a different location and no one told me. So a bachelor would never have found out that wax paper works almost as well as aluminum foil to store a wet paint brush overnight. You really do learn a lot from the family you live with. No way a bachelor ever would have found out that interesting fact.

Now just to be clear, I am loud by nature and I tend to run around like a bull in a china shop, trying to get my tasks done. Plus several in my family work odd shifts, which means they are trying to sleep during the day while I’m often running around like a maniac trying to get things done.

Believe me, if I could achieve “stealth mode” I would, but there’s only so much I can do to be invisible and unhearable. In the meantime, I’m glad I have so many loving family members watching and listening to everything I say and do.

You poor bachelors, I don't know how you get by.